History of Rosemaling
Rosemaling is a 250-year-old Norweigian craft based on painted "C" and "S" curves combined to form both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs of stylized flowers. Before the availability of metal cooking utensils in Norway, rosemaled wood was sealed and used as tankards, cookware and food storage containers. Rosemaling literally means "rose painting".
Rosemaling developed in the mid-18th century when chimneys and glass windows were introduced to Norweigian homes. Until then, soot-covered walls defied decoration except for wood carvings, tapestries hung for festive occasions, and chalk designs drawn on beams and rafters.
When chimneys and windows cleaned up the interiors and Norwegian seamen began bringing back souvenirs from other countries, the craft's popularity grew.
It spread to the United States when Norwegian farmers migrated in large numbers to Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. In the '30s, Per Lysne, an artist-farmer of Stoughten, Wis., introduced the art to America by rosemaling stripes on wagons.